It is the second day of 2012 when I'm writing this post. It's the era of smartphones and using internet at your convenience. Now that we have all the data from 2011, there's a trend that no internet marketer can afford to neglect:
Mobile usage and market nearly double every year.
StatCounter data indicates that mobile (vs. desktop) usage went from 4.10% in December, 2010 to 8.04% in December, 2011.
Gartner research predicts that by 2013, more people will use their mobile phones than PCs to get online.
eMarketer Key Digital Trends for 2012 suggest that US smartphone users will increase from 90 million in 2011 to 107 million in 2012, eReader users from 33 million to 46 million, and tablet users from 34 million to 55 million. However, this and other statistics and data also indicates the fact that growth of mobile is always greatly underestimated. We should expect higher increase numbers.
My personal guess is that most people (at least in US) will have a smartphone in 2-3 years, primarily because that's what wireless phone companies sell. It is no longer an option or extra privilege to have your site optimized for mobile. For me, personally, it's a requirement now.
Why Make Your WordPress Site Mobile-Friendly?
Why have a mobile site?
Can't smartphone users just browse your niche or business website as is (desktop version)?
They surely can. But just being able to see desktop site on a mobile phone does not mean it is mobile-friendly. You are giving bad user experience to your mobile visitors and prospects and putting your conversion rate at risk. User experience is the part that determines whether people will stay and buy from you or leave, even if you have great helpful content on your site.
Using desktop version of the website on mobile brings a lot of zoom in/out and navigation frustration and inability to click small links. You can't see the site in full width when in normal view and content is cluttered when you zoom out.
Mobile sites are designed for small screens, with the needs of mobile users in mind. If you never used or saw how websites appear on the smartphone, here's a quick example:
Mobile version is designed for small screen. It's easy to navigate. It loads fast, looks professional, and creates a great mobile user experience that is so important for conversions on your site.
How To Make Your WordPress Site Mobile-Friendly?
Now that you know trends and why it is so important to have your website mobile-optimized, I'd like to recommend you a simple WordPress plugin that easily does the job of creating an exceptional experience for your mobile users.
I searched all over the web. I tried various tools, themes, and plugins. None of the tools (free or paid) that I looked at and experimented with come even close to elegant and professional look, lightweight, fast-load speed, simplicity, flexibility, and customized options and settings that WPtouch Pro has.
On top of all that, their support is amazing as well.
Note: mobile version/theme is detected automatically by appropriate devices and doesn't effect your desktop theme. There's an option for mobile users to easily switch to desktop version if they choose to.
FREE Version Plugin
I use WPtouch free WordPress plugin for my small niche sites. It doesn't have the functionality and options that paid version has but does enough for sites that are mainly based on text content.
If you have a personal blog, company website, or any other WordPress-based website that you value a lot, I will highly recommend that you get a premium version of this plugin in order to imitate desktop version of your site as close as possible and use all available powerful features of this amazing plugin. I use Pro on this website and absolutely love it!
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WPtouch Pro Premium Mobile Plugin for WordPress
There are just way too many features of WPtouch Pro. Here're just some I like most:
- absolutely incredible and simple multiple custom settings in WordPress-like format
- gorgeous, professional website feel and look
- custom header
- custom menus and icons (sets of great icons included; can easily create your own)
- WPtouch re-formats your desktop version content for mobile without hassle
- child themes are available to preserve parent theme updates
- convenient for advertising
- formats and handles media accordingly
- iPad support; major smartphones support
- absolute design control if you know CSS (for advanced users)
- widget support (see below)
- and many more great features
You can read more about this great mobile plugin or get your copy today on WProuch Pro website:
It literally takes a couple of minutes to get your website mobile-optimized. Take advantage of this powerful plugin. Get WPtouch Pro to create a proper environment for your mobile prospects.
Your customers are already mobile. Are you?
Extra Relevant Tutorials
How To View Changes To Your Mobile Site?
If you don't have a smartphone, the easiest way to view your mobile site and changes on it is using Safari browser because it has necessary developer mode functionalities.
Here's how you can view your mobile site:
- Install Safari browser
- Go to Safari browser -> Edit -> Preferences:
- Go to "Advance" tab and check "Show Develop menu in menu bar" on the bottom:
- Now go to "Develop" tab -> User Agent -> iPhone to view your mobile site:
- Finally, re-size your window to see the site in the approximate mobile size:
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Add Important Widgets to Footer in WPtouch Pro
If you are using WPtouch Pro plugin and want to create widgets in the footer, please login into your WPtouch Pro account and check out this support ticket on how to add widget to WPtouch. Following steps there will create a "WPtouch Bottom" widget in your WordPress -> Appearance -> Widgets. Here's what the bottom of my mobile page looks like ("Get Your FREE eBook" part is a part of the mobile widget):